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national law. If an allegation of other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is considered to be well founded, the alleged offender or offenders shall be subject to criminal, disciplinary or other appropriate proceedings.
Article 11 Where it is proved that an act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has been committed by or at the instigation of a public official, the victim shall be afforded redress and compensation in accordance with national law.
Article 12 Any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment may not be invoked as evidence against the person concerned or against any other person in any proceedings.
Mr. BONKER. Thank you, Mr. McGee.
I would like to commend you for your comprehensive statement dealing both with human rights violations as well as citing certain countries. We do appreciate the quality of work that your organization does. I also noted that there are several references to religious persecution. The Subcommittee on International Organizations is very interested in this topic and will be preparing a series of hearings on religious persecution in the foreseeable future.
We will now move to our second witness, Dr. Warren Weinstein, vice president of the Coordinating Council for International Issues.
Dr. Weinstein, if you can limit your statement to a summarized presentation, the subcommittees would be greatly appreciative.
STATEMENT OF WARREN WEINSTEIN, VICE PRESIDENT, COORDI.
NATING COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
Mr. WEINSTEIN. Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I do plan to keep my remarks summarized.
I wish to express my appreciation to both subcommittees for this opportunity to speak to you today.
The subject of human rights is complex and in continuous flux. At this time in Africa there is a very positive mood toward the promotion of human rights. It is not an easy matter to catalog the most important human rights problems in Africa given the vast differences which mark the African continent. Indeed, it is precisely this lack of homogeneity that was a stumbling block to the efforts by some to have the OAU become more active in human rights matters.
You asked me to address some of the key problems. Perhaps the very state of underdevelopement experienced by many states in Africa is one key problem. Scarce resources and public goods for which competition is extremely keen promotes preemptive action by individuals or groups to prevent others from gaining control over those resources. Lack of cadres and infrastructure can limit the abilities of even the best of intentioned African leaders and regimes where there is a political will at the top to undertake a vigorous positive program with respect to the protection of human rights.
To demand rights implies that those who do so understand what those rights are and where to go to make their demands. The inability to commit resources for human rights education makes it difficult for this to happen in the rural areas and remote parts of African countries.
Foreign aid which is intended as a response to development may have its dangers. If its sponsors oversell its scope and consequences, or the domestic leadership fails to use the aid effectively, popular frustration
may increase rapidly—with serious consequences. Unfortunately, the casualties are most often the very people who are supposed to benefit from such programs. It is essential to state that this is not to argue against this aid. Rather, the argument is that human rights opens up a wide variety of justifications for increased aid and assistance must be designed to bear in mind potential negative consequences.
Another set of problems derives from the very fragility and newness of African States in their present form, compounded by the enthusiasm with which outside powers-governments as well as economic interestsmeddle in African affairs. Since we are dealing with this, in the list of questions sent to me by your subcommittees I was asked to identify the most serious violators of human rights in Africa. The top three candidates are now off the list so there is reason to be hesitant in coming to any quick determination about the new leaders.
At the moment the worst violators of human rights in Africa must be South Africa. Although there are bad situations elsewhere as in Zaire, Guinea, and Malawi, in these other countries the context is not always within the central government's control, the violations have never been as organized and
on the scale of those in South Africa, and there have been some indications that the governments are making an effort toward improving human rights conditions.
The situation in Zaire is critical, yet there is some evidence that outside pressures by the United States and the refugee agencies have, at times, alleviated some of the more blatant violations. There have been some other favorable signs, including the election of a parliament which began to express itself against corruption. Zairians are themselves attempting to tackle the problems. I plan to participate later in November at a preliminary colloquium on human rights which will address the issue of setting up human rights mechanisms in the country.
I do not believe that the subcommittees wish me to develop a shopping list of African problem countries. I have already gone through and given you quite a bit on that. I must say that I was very happy to hear that the State Department will include South Africa in terms of its reports. I had a couple paragraphs on that in my statement but I think I can drop them now.
As for the adequacy, truthfulness and comparative effectiveness of State Department reporting compared with that of other organizations concerned with human rights, let me say the Department of State differs from those in that human rights is one of
many concerns with which it must deal. This concern is still new and there are signs that it has not percolated down through the ranks and in U.S. Embassies in Africa and Asia there has been much confusion and skepticism concerning what the American human rights concern is or whether it should be there as part of our foreign policy.
In talking to Embassy staff, which I have done for the past 2 years in at least 17 of these countries, it becomes clear that many wonder how the human rights policy affects them with respect to their career. If they are eager human rights officers or informants, their superiors may look askance upon that since it might create ripples and problems in the relations between the United States and the host government. Such problems might become issues that would place a particular Embassy in a bad light and make it difficult to produce positive results
in winning the host country's support for other U.S. foreign policy interests.
AID mission people worry lest negative human rights reporting would result in reduced commitment for their post which might mean a loss in personnel, a downgrading in the importance of their mission, and less opportunity for them to move money and projects which is the basis upon which their performance will be judged with respect to career promotion and their next assignment. In essence I am saying that human rights has still not become an integral part of the U.S. foreign policy bureaucracy in such a way that there are positive incentives for AID or Foreign Service officers to pursue it very actively,
In reviewing the 1978 reports issued by the Department of State I did note examples of understatement and caution bordering on being misleading. Certainly Cameroon has already been raised and I think the situation in Togo has been mentioned with respect to prisons and prison conditions.
Many reports do indicate that the Department is making a greater effort to take account of reports by human rights groups. However, these are rephrased in more conditional terms than the original reports. As I stated earlier, the problems with human rights policy being accepted internally by Foreign Service officers are an inhibiting factor when it comes to having U.S. Department of State personnel playing a role with respect to human rights problems.
One can only hope that as the policy continues the quirks will be worked out and that official American reporting and work on human rights problems will improve. I am hopeful that it will improve because there are demonstrable positive results in Africa where the United States has raised its voice on human rights. The release of certain detainees was partly a response to American pressure. I think some of the pressure on Zaire can definitely be seen as the cause for President Mobutu's recent trip to the United States. I know he reads as many newspapers as he can and therefore foreign criticism of Zaire will definitely have an effect. · I can recall sitting in the State Department when the human rights office received news that the goverment of one southern African country was letting up in its harassment of political critics as a direct result of American pressures. I believe that the United States can and should continue to do this. When I travel in Africa and Asia, a number of individuals ask why the Untied States does not do more. Where the violations of human rights become rather severe, the United States is viewed as contributing to them if it continues its aid at former levels. The local people view continued U.S. aid as indication of continued support even if that support is not there, and the government or governments in question point to continued U.S. aid as a sign of continued political support.
This is true particularly where the aid is of a military nature. However, it is also true where other aid is extended but never reaches the beneficiaries for whom the United States intended it or does so at a cost which is too high for them to take advantage of it. Policymakers and legislators should also evaluate the human rights implications of such "neutral" activities as investment in South Africa.
If one must look for how to come up with report cards, which I have tried to refrain from doing, perhaps one should suggest criteria may
be violated or anticipated: (1) Where there is a sudden and/or continuous generation of refugees; (2) where there is a sudden and/or sustained increase in infant mortality; (3) where there are sudden or dramatic shifts from self-sustaining or surplus agricultural imports of such products; (4) where the ethnic and geographic production of staple foodstuffs to a situation requiring substantial human diversity of a country is not reflected in the composition of government, civil service and key political structures and, by extension, where this is true in the private sector; and (5) where popular wisdom, in particular that of potential migrants, is of the belief that local notions of equity and fairness are not being met.
I would not want to make it appear as if the United States has the influence, the inclination, or the opportunity to serve as a human rights watchdog and supervisor for Africa, nor should it. I believe that to the extent we do have relationships with Africa, human rights must be an active part of them. The United States must also recognize and encourage efforts by Africans to look after their own problems, and there is growing evidence that more and more Africans and African leaders are prepared to do just that.
[Mr. Weinstein's prepared statement follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF WARREN WEINSTEIN, VICE PRESIDENT, COORDINATING
COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL ISSUES My name is Warren Weinstein. I am the Vice President of the Coordinating Council for International Issues which is a minority owned non-profit research organization active in the broad domain of human rights, which includes consideration of the human quality of economic development and government policy. I wish to express my appreciation to the House Subcommittee on International Organizations and the House Subcommmittee on Africa for this opportunity to speak with you today.
The subject of human rights is complex and in continuous flux. The experts are defining new rights or redefining those already identified, and governments are involved in a continuous process of reviewing their policies with respect to these rights. At this time, in Africa, there is a very positive mood toward the promotion of human rights. The Organization of African Unity has decided to draft a Human Rights Charter for Africa ; African experts who met in Monrovia (Liberia) in September 1979 drew up the outlines for a model African Human Rights Commission; private and semi-official meetings have been convened where Africans dwelled in extenso on the need to pay greater attention to human rights in all of the continent; and in the past months several known violators of human rights have lost power and in a larger number of instances, there has been a movement toward greater liberalization and enlargement of the sphere of human rights enjoyed by the population at large. On the other hand, the problems have not disappeared and there is no way to be certain that the present positive mood toward human rights will continue.
It is not an easy matter to catalogue the most important human rights problems in Africa given the vast differences which mark different parts of the African continent, and the variations in the experiences of African societies during the two centuries preceding the massive decolonization of the 1960s. These differences reside in the distribution of natural resources, ethnic groups, religions, effects of the disruption inflicted during slavery and the colonial era as well as the positive aspects of colonial rule, the size of new states, and the external influences at play. My list is not intended to be exhaustive but rather to illustrate that it is incorrect to speak of Africa as if the continent were a homogeneous mass. Indeed, it is precisely this lack of homogeneity that was a stumbling block to the efforts by some to have the OAU become more active in human rights matters.
At a high level of generalization, if one must identify common problems, perhaps the very state of underdevelopment experienced by many states in Africa is a key problem. It is a problem because of the consequences for human rights: scarce resources and public goods for which competition is extremely keen, giving rise to political and economic competition in which participants view the context as one of a zero-sum-total one where any group or person's gains become another group or person's losses. This promotes preemptive action by individuals or groups to prevent others from gaining control over those resources (jobs, physical goods, social services, etc.) which are or may become available. It encourages a rational resort to group or, if you will, ethnic politics whereby leaders and common individuals at all levels of society appeal to kinship and to presumed primordial ties resulting in a we-they complex that makes it difficult to achieve inter-ethnic coalition building and joint action.
I do not believe you would want me to dwell too long on this as the problems of ethnicity and competition for scarce resources have been studied in depth by many students of Africa in and outside the continent. However, there is another negative consequence of the scarcity which we must address, and this is resultant lack of cadres and infrastructure which can limit the abilities or even the best of intentioned African leaders and regimes where there is a political will at the top to undertake a vigorous positive program with respect to the protection of human rights.
For example, in Tanzania and Zambia the governments have established collegial ombudsmen mechanisms to which individuals can complain about violations of human rights by government administrators. Both countries have experienced significant success with these mechanisms but in each case the absence of funds has not allowed the government to provide the size budget which would allow the ombudsmen to become active in the rural countryside, to undertake programs to educate and sensitize local populations and officials about human rights (both what individuals can claim as rights and their responsibilities toward others as a result of rights).
The number of trained judges, lawyers, and others in the legal profession is still quite small which means that any African state where there is a desire to activate a human rights mechanism may find itself constrained critically by a dearth of competent personnel. Moreover, those who are available are overworked or overextended. In many cases few are given time to gain experience in practicing their profession and find themselves assigned to important positions immediately after completion of their formal legal training. These individuals very often fail to do a satisfactory job, and this is not entirely their fault nor is it merely a matter of ill-will on their part.
The lack of infrastructure is another aspect of the development lacunae in Africa which hamper greater respect for human rights. To demand rights implies that those who do so understand what those rights are and where to go to make their demands. The inability to commit resources for human rights education makes it difficult for this to happen in much of Africa, and in particular in the rural areas and remote parts of African countries. The lack of adequate transport, communications and information technology means that on most occasions there is no adequate mechanism or avenue for recourse when violations occur in all but a few parts of African states. It also results in confusion of command and jurisdictional competencies among those Government officials who are available. Where there is but one government presence, it may be that the judge, jury and prosecutor are one and the same person. Under such circumstances individuals are hesitant to come forth when violations of their rights occur. This was found to be the case in Tanzania and Zambia and is one of the reasons why an ombudsman commission was created in both those states.
I have not as yet made mention of the fact that limited resources mean limited official regard for basic economic and social rights. In some cases, in particular as a result of the character of competition for resources which I mentioned above, there is benign or malign neglect of the basic human needs of groups and entire regions of a country.
With respect to human rights problems which grow out of how limited resources are distributed, there is a related problem stemming from the consequences of how external donors behave and the demands they place on African states which receive development assistance. Foreign aid may have its dangers. If its sponsors oversell its scope and consequences, or the domestic leadership fails to use the aid effectively, popular frustration may increase rapidly-with serious consequences. Unfortunately the casualties are most often the very people who are supposed to benefit from such programs. They may be compelled to work harder and longer hours without fair compensation, they may be pressed into additional activities or given deadlines which are well-nigh impossible to meet